It's tough enough to write a review, but when you don't even know the name of group you are reviewing, you know you are off to a rough start. Chris Squire and Billy Sherwood have been working together for 15 plus years now. They compiled some of their work into the CD Conspiracy. But based on interviews and press releases, Conspiracy isn't only the name of the CD, but the name of the group. As envisioned by Squire, musicians that are asked to join them are part of the group conspiring to make this music. A repackaged and remarketed version of this CD is currently being promoted as Chris Squire/Billy Sherwood: Conspiracy. A second CD by the group Conspiracy was released in 2003.
This CD is an excellent blend of popish-progressive rock. Songs like "No Rhyme" and "The More We Live" (a later version ended up on Union) will remind some of the Yes sound, but overall, Squire and Sherwood have created their own unique style.
"Violet Purple Rose" is standout track, featuring typically amazing Squire bass and a nice guest performance by Steve Stevens on guitar. Most of the tracks are based on vocals and there aren't many jam sessions. Squire and Sherwood have concentrated on creating melodic songs that are very accessible. There are no 10 minute epics here. Squire and Sherwood share vocal duties and most songs have them complimenting each other.
It should be noted that the advance copy I received contained two bonus tracks, "The Big Peace" which is a Billy Sherwood only recording in the vein of ABWH or Gabriel, and a remake of "Comfortably Numb". In my opinion, both tracks could have been left off, but since they are basically bonus material, I won't complain.
This will appeal to any fan of song based rock and melodic-prog. This is an easy, accessible CD that has excellent song structure and Chris Squire's bass. Now if I only knew what to call this group.
1) Days of Wonder (5:01)
2) Light In My Life (4:03)
3) Violet Purple Rose (5:00)
4) No Rhyme (4:56)
5) Lonesome Trail (6:38)
6) More We Live (4:48)
7) Love Conquers All (4:53)
8) You're The Reason (5:10)
9) Watching The World (5:22)
10) Red Light Ahead (6:48)
11) The Big Peace: bonus (15:31)
12) Comfortably Numb: bonus (6:53)